Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Steve Swell @ Local 269 2/22/10

This is a great new project. Steve leads it, but they all write for it. The drummer is from Chicago and is definitely worthy of playing in this ensemble.

It was all excellent! The music hit a wide range and I enjoyed every minute.

Steve Swell trombone
Taylor Ho Bynum trumpet
John Hebert
Tim Daisy

Go-zee-lah @ Local 269 2/22/10

The only reason I don't go to more of these Monday night RUCMA gigs is because I'm usually at the Kanes Monday Night Alive workshops, which are phenomenal. But, since they are away for a couple of weeks, it's a good opportunity to catch some stellar RUCMA action.

They are currently doing 4 sets with different bands. 2 sets with vocalists and 2 sets without. This is RUCMA, so the vocalists are another instrument as opposed to over top of the instruments.

It was a great set. The vocals, keyboard, and drums were all phenomenal. Taylor Ho Bynum played on one tune about speaking Japanese. It was all awesome.

Kyoko Kitamura, vocals, laptop
Yayoi Ikawa piano
Harris Eisenstadt drums

Black Lantern Trio @ Zebulon 2/21/10

I wasn't going to stay, but when I saw Darius and an interesting looking guitar and drummer, I decided I could stay out a little later. What a good move! This was absolutely fantastic. I left after 1/2 hour. I wanted to stay, but it was 11:30 on a Sun night and I knew it was best to go.

I knew I knew the drummer ... Mike Pride! He' so great! The guitar player was awesome, I'm not sure I ever saw him before.

It was fantastic and worth sticking around for.

Black Lantern Trio w / Sam Mickens, Mike Pride and Darius Jones

Tim Kuhl Group @ Zebulon 2/21/10

I failed attempts to get into Cornelia St and the Vanguard without a res. I was about to go to my safe haven, The Stone, when I decided to take a look at my handy All About Jazz. Zebulon looked good, and the early set might get me home at a decent time on a Sunday.

Yeah, that was a good move. I really enjoyed this sextet with 2 guitars, upright bass, drums, Pete Robbins on sax and Josh Roseman on trombone. A drummer-led ensemble is usually great in my book. I especially enjoyed the last tune, which I think is titled "King".

Tim Kuhl Group:
Pete Robbins - Alto Saxophone
Josh Roseman - Trombone
Aki Ishiguro - Guitar
Ryan Mackstaller - Guitar
Malcolm Kirby Jr. - Double Bass
Tim Kuhl - Drums + Tunes

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Masada Marathon 2/18/10

A 2nd night! That's just too awesome! It was all fantastic and different from the night before. I wonder how many nights and how many musicians would be required to do all of Zorn's Masada. Many many, I'm sure.

The Uri Caine solo was everything! It was out of this world! It set the tone for an incredible night.

The Masada String Trio! Mark Feldman! Greg Cohen! Eric Friedlander! Now I see that Feldman and Courvoissier were playing Masada the night before. I finally got it that everyone was playing Zorn's Masada. I was thrown off by Banquet of Spirits the night before. Anyway, this string trio blew me away! Zorn even got them to give us an encore.

Greg Cohen stayed up to play with Jamie Saft on piano and Joey Baron on drums. This is a POWER trio! Absolutely amazing!

A solo set by Eric Friedlander is always welcome in my book. It was stellar as always.

The quartet turned into a quintet with the addition of the great Chris Potter on tenor. I was surprised and elated when he came out. Zorn was on alto, Dave Douglass on trumpet, Joey Baron on drums, and Greg Cohen on bass. Riveting! They gave us a killer encore as well.

Wow! Another couple of incredible nights of music.

Masada Marathon @ Abrons Art Center 2/17/10

Typical Zorn: stellar music, well-executed, amazing lineup, in a wonderful space.

Each set change took about 5 minutes. Each ensemble played for about 1/2 hour. The music was all of the highest quality.

Banquet of Spirits was first. Even though I saw them recently, I don't think I could ever get sick of them. Their 1/2 hour set was quite different from what I saw a couple of weeks ago. Cyro started off on the jaw harp. Tim played the string that might be a kora as a duo with Shanir on oud this time. That was quite different from last time. It was also nice to see them on a big stage.

Next was an amazing Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoissier duo. I've seen them play together at The Stone, but I forgot all of it. I forgot that their pieces have elements of some very well-known pieces. It gives some familiarity to what they do, which connects them to their audience. I'm also in awe of how talented they are. They are definitely each at the top of their field.

Next came an amazing ensemble of Ben Goldberg on clarinet, Jamie Saft on piano, Matt Wilson on drums, and Greg Cohen on bass. I especially loved the clarinet and bass, but it was all incredible.

I didn't think I knew Ben Goldberg before, but it turns out he in Tin Hat Trio. So, I must have seen him before. Thank goodness for this blog. My internet search took me to a different of Ben Goldberg's quartet's Go Home, which I attended and loved. Here's another article I found in my search.

The next ensemble was Mycale, which consists of 4 female vocalists. This was really great, they were great vocal instrumentalists. Zorn said they just put out the most recent Book of Angels cd. Here's a blip I found on them from their facebook page: "This group of diverse vocalists (Basya, Ayelet, Sofia and Malika) was put together by John Zorn, to create, perform & record arrangements to tunes from his "Book of Angels" (Masada book II)."

I think the Masada Sextet with Uri Caine, Dave Douglass, John Zorn, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista might be my very favorite Zorn project. Maybe. I love that he plays in it and I love love love the drums and percussion! Greg Cohen blows me away on bass. It's all just too unbelievably great!

Yet another evening to feel blessed to be in NYC!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fat Tuesday Funk Jam @ BBs 2/16/09

Originally, I hadn't intended to go to this. But, Henry and Adam and George all funkin it up combined with the discounted ticket on Goldstar turned it into a must go.

It was a fun Mardi Gras show. I only stayed for one set - have to pace with work and upcoming stellar music. That one set was great and it was awesome to have Henry and Adam there.

Fat Tuesday Funk Jam:
Leo Nocentelli
Adam Deitch
Henry Butler
George Porter Jr.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Improv Night @ The Stone 2/14/10

I went to the 2nd set. Good thing, since that was the one with Kenny! This was a great one! The pieces were longer, so we had less ensembles. I loved every minute.

The first piece included John Zorn, Kenny Wollensen and Shanir Blumenkranz. It was very close to stellar straight-ahead jazz, modern Coltrane style. It was also quite different from that, as it was all improv. I loved seeing these 3 together in this format. It was also a nice long piece. Zorn is one of the greats on the alto! It was awesome to see Shanir on the jazzy bass. I loved it!

Next was 5 women: Ikue Morie, Annie Gosfield, the tap dancer that is in Cyro's Beat the Donkey, a piano player, and a vocalist. This was awesome! I was mainly watching the tap dancer. She started by playing bubble wrap, crinkling it and rubbing it against the floor. Later, she came out and danced. The music was excellent and it all meshed so well. Toward the end of the piece, she tap danced on the bubble wrap. There were some very cool sounds coming from each of them.

Then there was a piece with Toby Driver on guitar, a drummer, and the pianist. Toby was making a lot of bass sounds. he was turned to the side, but I'm pretty sure it was a guitar. I'm not sure how he did it, if so. He did have a lot of pedals and buttons at his feet.

Next it was an awesome, somewhat grooving in a very experimental way, Toby/Kenny/Annie piece. I don't know what that square drum Kenny was playing with a stick, but I love love love the sound.

After that, it was an awesome piece with everyone.

Yes, another successful and satisfying Improv Night!

Mardi Gras Ball @ LPR 2/13/10

Ahh Yeah! This was a great show! I love the space, it's so much better than Sullivan Hall. I really wanted to see Tab Benoit - I hadn't seen him out of NOLA before. But, it was hard to get there by the 7:30 listed time. I got there at 8:45 and was told they just came on 10 minutes ago. Yeah! They were great. It was so good to start with excellent NOLA blues. Of course, everyone is still on the Super Bowl high. Tab hasn't been home yet, so he keeps celebrating every night.

Bonerama was awesome. They started with The Other Ones. I really love that song, and they did an awesome rendition. Their whole set kicked butt! It was a much better venue. I love the lighting and how you can see. I also love how they don't shine the lights around in our eyes. This was one of the best Bonerama sets I've seen.

I wasn't too keen on Big Sam's Funky Nation. I've been disappointed with them sometimes in the past. But, I was told to give it a chance. Yes! There was no leaving before the end of that set! They were definitely in the right slot! They brought it big time! There was no generic funk there!

I had so much fun. The music was awesome and it was a good time.

AlasNoAxis @ 45 Bleeker 2/12/10

This is the Bleeker Street Theatre and it's a good space for music. I got there at about 10:20 and I got the impression they had just started. They were playing very quiet at that time.

The seats were all taken, but I found a good standing spot in the back. I could see pretty well. Search and Restore is going to be doing 4 nights of Kneebody next week. That's yet another great band, but now I can tell you from experience that search and restore only books great bands.

This show was truly awesome. They played for about 2 hours, including the encore. I was impressed with every moment and the fact that they gave us so much music. It was also Chris Speed's birthday. This is a really great band. Jim mentioned that the guitar player had to keep retuning because every tune is in a different key. The music is all stellar.

SEARCH & RESTORE is honored and humbled to present drum guru Jim Black and Alas No Axis, featuring Chris Speed, Skuli Sverrisson, and Hilmar Jensson.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Adam Levy/Jim Campilongo Duo @ Bar Next Door 2/11/09

This was awesome. 2 great guitar players facing each other playing great music in a nice ambiance. It really worked. I enjoyed it very much.

11th- Jim Campilongo and Adam Levy Guitars

Emilio Sola Jazz Tango @ Jazz Standard 2/9/09

I love this stuff! I'm so glad Jazz Standard keeps booking tango type music! I know there is a big NYC tango scene, but it involves tango dancing. While I'm glad there's a big interest in that, I prefer to bop however I'm feeling in my chair and simply enjoy the music.

It was great and definitely more on the jazz side. My favorite piece was dedicated to a master drummer from Argentina who was in the audience. At the beginning of that piece, 3 Uruguayan drummers came walking up to the stage from the bar playing the drums. The accordion and sax left the stage for that piece so it was heavy on the drums and great.

I enjoyed all of it and they are all very talented musicians.

Emilio Solla & The Tango Jazz Conspiracy
Emilio Solla – piano
Chris Cheek – saxophones
Victor Prietoaccordeon
Jorge Roeder – bass
Richie Barshay – drums

Monday, February 8, 2010

Galactic @ Brooklyn Bowl 2/7/09

It worked out that I got my Galactic after all! It was also so much nicer to see them at Brooklyn Bowl after the Saints won the Super Bowl as opposed to Terminal 5 when it was just a possibility.

I watched the game at a party hosted by an Indiana native. We all like him a lot, so almost everyone else there was rooting for the Colts. It was a lot of fun, and such a good game. Still, I needed to be in a room with lots of happy NOLA-lovers, getting down to some good and funky NOLA music.

They certainly delivered!

I got there at around 11. They ended at 12, but came out to do a few encore songs. I left during the encore, at about 12:20.

They had Cyrille Neville on percussion and Corey Henry on trombone playing the whole time. It was awesome!

Trout Scream @ Bar 9 2/5/10

I opted out of going to Galactic due to the Terminal 5 factor. I had a fun evening in the area at an awesome play called Found earlier. I couldn't drum up interest among my friends to join me for the after-show. Still, I knew I wanted to go to this.

It was great funk. I didn't think it was generic at all. Will Bernard definitely caught me the most. Tony Mason had me at various times. I loved the Brooklin Boogaloo Blowout bass and keyboard guys. This was great music.

We had a sitin from Stanton the first set that was great. Alicia Rau sat in for much of the 2nd set. She is a talented trumpet player. I used to see her in Ma Skillet and the Funky Fritters. I love funky horns!

We were reminded of the band Frequinox. Wow! Blast from the past. Rob Mercurio and Stanton Moore came up to remind us of those days during the 2nd set.

It was a lot of fun and reminiscent of Tobacco Road days. They ended that 2nd set at 3:30.
I liked the space, aside from the location. I saw the baritone sax from Burnt Sugar in a picture out front. I saw another picture that looked like Kenny Wollensen on vibes. I would schlep uptown for that! Even when it got crowded, I never felt too closed in. I could always find somewhere with breathing room to dance.

*TROUT SCREAM*featuring:WILL BERNARD(Gtr - TJ Kirk/Stanton Moore Trio)TIM LUNTZEL(Bass - Rosanne Cash/Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout)TONY MASON(Drums - Charlie Hunter Trio/Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout)ANDREW SHERMAN(Keys - Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nevsky Prospekt @ The Stone 2/3/10

Wow! This was brilliant! I had goosebumps and felt tingly almost the entire time. I didn't know what to expect, and this was way better than anything I could imagine.

They showed text from the story on a projection on the wall. There was plenty of time to read each paragraph and feel how the composition corresponded. It was so elegantly done, from the page-turning to the slide moving to the color of the background light for the text. And, of course, the music, which was stellar. Each piece was completely different and excellent. The music had a very wide range.

I will have to say this is the most impressive music project I have seen to date.

Terran Olson – “Nevsky Prospekt
Terran Olson (piano) David Bodie (drums) Toby Driver (guitar)
Multi-instrumentalist known for his work with Kayo Dot, maudlin of the Well, and Autumn Tears premieres a new ensemble and long-form composition based on the story by Nikolai Gogol.

Wes "Warmdaddy" Anderson @ Dizzy's 2/2/10

I couldn't stop at just one show my first music night since I got back from Costa Rica. I chose this show because Jeff "Tain" Watts was drumming and I have a friend who has been wanting to go to Dizzy's with me for a long time.

It was excellent. We had a special guest tenor from the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra who played the entire set. There was even an awesome sax duo piece where the piano joined in at one point in the background and the bass and drums slowly and leisurely made their way back to the stage.

They did some Dizzy tunes and some blues and it was swinging. I had a great time.

Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson Quartet
w/Marc Cary, Neal Caine & Jeff "Tain" Watts

Banquet of Spirits @ Joe's Pub 2/2/10

I was torn between this and Ceramic Dog at LPR. I am very happy with my choice! I think they have some new material, at least I didn't recognize a lot of it. Even the tambourine duo between Tim and Cyro was quite different from the many other tambourine duos I've seen them do.

Everyone had lots of instruments, although not quite the same as the last time I saw them. Cyro had something hanging that was similar to a large saw blade. There was an awesome duo with Cyro on berimbau and Tim on kora. I loved that.

Shanir played the electric bass and bass oud. He is phenomenal, as are they all.

Brian has such a vast range of sound with all of his keyboards. He could sound Middle Eastern at times, beautiful piano at times, outrageous and/or out there, and everything in between.

It was about 1.5 hours of incredible music!